FMA Communications Inc.

Tim Heston

Senior Editor
FMA Communications Inc.
833 Featherstone Road
Rockford, IL 61107
The benefits of technical certification in metal fabrication - TheFabricator.com

The benefits of technical certification in metal fabrication

July 18, 2011

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The prototype shop at International Gaming Technologies employs serious talent. They take a sheet metal part through the entire fabrication process, from laser cutting and bending to welding and grinding. To qualify for a job here requires technical knowhow about a variety of manufacturing processes. This is why management has decided to use FMA’s Precision Sheet Metal Operator certification as a benchmark.

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Project engineer changes careers, chooses metal fabrication - TheFabricator.com

Project engineer changes careers, chooses metal fabrication

July 18, 2011

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Jacob Melton quit his desk job in Chicago, drove home to Houston, and with his father bought a metal fabrication company. Several years later, even after a severe recession, it turns out that was a smart career move.

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The industry needs “technical leaders”

July 14, 2011

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FMA survey reveals hiring managers are looking for technical leaders, those with technical knowhow with the ability to look beyond their individual work cell.

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Divine Rolling - TheFabricator.com

Induction key to complex beam rolling job

July 8, 2011

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Shop rolls beams for a unique place of worship--using an unusual process Abstract: Hardwick Co., a rolling shop in Birmingham, Ala., used its unusual induction beam rolling process to form beams into complex shapes involving multiple radii. Without such capability, the impressive design of the Ave Maria Oratory would not have been possible.

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The skilled worker’s pursuit of happiness

July 5, 2011

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This week’s pomp, sparkle, and pyrotechnics celebrated, among other things, Jefferson’s inspirational sentence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty...

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Job shop managers, the next generation

June 14, 2011

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At every gathering of shop managers in this business--at events like FABTECH® and The FABRICATOR®’s Leadership Summit--I always notice how diverse people’s backgrounds are. Most of the metal fabrication that goes on in this country happens in small businesses, firms much like Amtex Precision...

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MEC Robotic Welding

How a big fabricator grows even bigger

June 7, 2011

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Mayville Engineering Co. of Mayville, Wis., has grown into a metal fabrication powerhouse, with seven plants that altogether employ more than 1,000 workers. But it hasn’t been an easy ride. Less than a decade ago, MEC was struggling to find its way. Today, the company has a conservative, healthy balance sheet, and plenty of runway room for serious growth.

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Plate Rolling

Plate rolls keep rolling heavier plate

June 2, 2011

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These days, plate rolls are forming plate 6 and 7 inches thick--and even thicker. Vessel designs that would have been forged just a decade ago are now being sent to fabrication houses. The variable-geometry plate roll system, which really operates more like a press brake than a traditional plate roll, is making such extreme rolling possible.

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 Atlanta Attachment’s shop floor

The merits of a manufacturing hybrid

June 2, 2011

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Atlanta Precision Machine & Fabrication, a job shop launched in 2009, represents the latest venture of Atlanta Attachment Co., a made-to-order equipment manufacturer that has found success with diversification, both in the markets it serves and the services it offers, from basic fabrication to complete assembly.

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The race for stateside manufacturing

May 31, 2011

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My dad was the first to call when I got home. He’s a retired history professor, so he usually doesn’t have that much input on my job-related travels, but last week was different. I had driven to Advanced Technology Sales & Service, a Mitsubishi dealer in Greensboro, N.C. ATS held its grand...

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Good moments in metal fabrication

May 16, 2011

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This May has had some great moments, and the Navy SEALs’ heroic efforts at that mysterious, now famous compound in northeast Pakistan is just one of them. Some moments have been bittersweet. The Monday after tornadoes hit Alabama, I called one fabricator there who hadn’t received my e-mails;...

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Tube cutting laser

The “hole” picture in laser tube cutting

May 6, 2011

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Ace Metal Crafts installs a laser tube cutting system with integrated tapping, a system that has shown its strength when producing structural tube. The machine cuts tube shapes, laser cuts holes, and performs tapping all in one setup.

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Sustainable jobs need sustainable growth

April 25, 2011

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In May 2009, as I merged onto a congested I-94, driving from the airport to the ALAW Advanced Laser Applications Workshop outside Detroit, I saw a billboard for W Industries, a local metal fabricator. Not only was it odd seeing a contract fabricator advertised so prominently, but the sign’s...

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Two ways to manage manufacturing risk

April 19, 2011

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Last week I visited two facilities that focused on low- to medium-volume manufacturing. Both customize products to meet customer needs. Both tout quick response and comprehensive customer service. Yet in many respects, the two couldn’t have been more different. A week ago today I pulled into the...

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The jungle of tax reform

April 11, 2011

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On Friday night I was like a kid half-heartedly doing his homework while watching the weather and awaiting the snowstorm. I kept thinking the storm would close school (government shutdown), and I could stop this blasted homework (my income taxes). Then at the 11th hour (literally: it was a little...

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